This is my favorite piece of furniture I have ever painted. Ever!
Here’s the runner-up!
Yeah baby! And they are both for ME!
(I guess they are also for my husband and son and maybe our dog, Bella, because they, technically, live here too. But we all know they don’t go all gushy gaga over furniture like I do so … yeah…they’re for ME!)
This vintage buffet and matching china cabinet have been hanging around my house for way too long waiting to be painted. I finally completed their makeovers using Real Milk Paint Company’s awesome non-toxic paint.
I absolutely LOVE how they turned out!
Here are the before shots:
I prepped both pieces by giving them a good scrub-down and a light sanding. I didn’t go down to bare wood, but I sanded just enough to “rough them up” a bit so the Real Milk Paint would stick better.
Then I painted both pieces with a base coat of Real Milk Paint’s Navy Blue mixed with UltraBond, an adhesion promoter. With milk paint, you run the risk of the paint chipping when applied over previously finished surfaces. That chipping looks all vintage and cool on the right piece, but that wasn’t the look I was going for here. I didn’t want to see wood coming through the navy blue.
If you absolutely do not want chips, you can either strip your piece down to bare wood … or just add few scoops of UltraBond to the paint.
I did not add UltraBond to the white. Milk paint sticks to previously milk-painted surfaces just fine. Besides, I was planning to distress-the-heck-out-of-it anyway. I kept the inside of the china cabinet navy blue to offset my white dishes.
Here you can see the smooth, elegant finish of the milk paint with Ultrabond added.
After the white dried, I distressed with a baby wipe. Real Milk Paint has no harmful chemicals or fumes so you can work safely indoors during cold winter months. I worked right there in my dining room. However, I didn’t want the messy dust created by distressing with sandpaper. The baby wipe did the trick!
Here you can see the difference between the two awesomely chunky legs on this piece. The leg on the left is solid white. The leg on the right is distressed. I like how that little bit of color peeking out gives the piece more dimension versus plain white, especially on furniture with great details like these babies.
If you rub away too much color, just come back and paint over it. I went back and forth—distressing, painting over it, then distressing again—a few times until I loved how everything looked. Then I sealed everything with Real Milk Paint’s Low Sheen Finishing Cream, one of my favorite finishing products because it is easy to apply, provides a durable hard-coat finish and makes your furniture feel as good as it looks.
Here are a few more closeups of the distressing on the finished pieces.
You’ll notice I didn’t do much to try to repair or camouflage the previous damage on these pieces. Actually, I didn’t do anything. I just painted right over one big ding, a lot of scratches and some damaged veneer.
I usually try to make my furniture that I sell as flawless as possible, but on these pieces—for our home—I let it be. I figured this furniture lived a full life. There’s probably a story behind every ding. I decided to accentuate the imperfections instead and I’m really happy I did.
After all, I live here—with my husband, our son and Bella. Eventually, this furniture is going to get a few more scratches and dings. It always does, but that’s OK. We’ll have a story to tell.
And they will still be my favorite pieces of furniture I have ever painted. Ever!